By Miriam P. Aquino, PIA 1, La Union
BACNOTAN, La Union, Sept. 13 (PIA) – Big-time drug perpetrators don’t deal down with the communities, so most of the time only small-time drug dealers are sacked, according to the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
P/Sr. Insp. Fredelix Marron, Bacnotan, La Union police chief and PDEA Information Officer Marife De Guzman said that at the barangay or community level, the perpetrators always have their negotiators dealing with different local dealers and pushers.
“Chances are, even these ’downline runners’ are never given time to see or be introduced to the so-called big boss,” Marron said during the “Kapihan sa Ilocos” held at the Philippine Information Agency-Regional Office 1 on Wednesday.
De Guzman, on the other hand, cited other instances of drug transactions where drugs of whatever type are left by unexpected drug couriers in baggage counters of grocery stores, malls, and even supermarkets.
“Later on, thru texting, a different person would arrive and pick the said baggage, without the supermarket staff knowing that it contains drugs. So simple,” De Guzman said.
In case they are apprehended, the small-time dealers just stick to their words of not disclosing anything about the perpetrators by saying, they don’t know whose behind all this drug syndicates or that they didn’t know it was drugs baggage they are picking up, De Guzman said.
On dismissed drug cases, De Guzman emphasized that the technicalities of the law causes it all. During drug buy-bust or entrapment operations, PDEA and PNP are keen on the protocols like the need for the presence of all the supposed participating sectors like the media equipped with video and camera, a representative from the Department of Justice and an official from the local government unit.
“The law enforcers are not allowed to touch or move anything in the target area without the presence of all the said witnesses. We have to be very careful on that so as to avoid issues like the drug is planted or the suspects were framed-up,” De Guzman added.
She said that such operations have to be planned very well. Once the agency have received reports, it will be setting surveillance operations and investigations.
De Guzman said the cooperation and participation of the community, especially the barangay officials, are very vital in such cases as they can provide the best necessary information about the suspects, without of course, taking for granted the safety of the informants and supposed witnesses.#